Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wistful Wednesday: Relatives

This is an old photo from years ago.  I found it among the hunting and fishing photos in my Father In Laws album.   I finished that scanning project and made a CD of the photos and packed it all away in the trunk.  One more project completed! All the photos were marked with who, when and where with a photo safe marking pencil.


Uncle Willard, Lola, Evelyn, Don and Aunt Louise

This was taken sometime in the early 1950’s.  That is Far Guys Mom at the end of the table.   The photo is taken from Far Guys Dads spot at the table.  So I can safely say he took the photo.  It was taken in the formal dining room at their home in Park Rapids Minnesota.

I think this photo has a spring feel to it, the ladies are in short sleeves, the linen tablecloth is the one with the green leaf pattern.   They have just finished a platter  of sweets of some sort and the silver creamer and sugar set is on the table. I bet it was taken on a Sunday afternoon.  Years ago Sunday afternoon was a time for relatives and visiting.

Uncle Willard is not in the best health.   Most of his children were here for Thanksgiving.  On Sunday afternoon they converged at our house along with other cousins from Detroit Lakes Minnesota..there was no linen table cloth..and no one showed up in a suit…but there was much laughter and lots of reminiscing and coffee and a plate of goodies. Alaska Guy and his brother from Washington DC were very impressed with this was one that they had never seen before.  I made them both copies. ( Lola and their Mother Louise are sisters.) It was a fun afternoon..almost like old times visiting with the relatives on a Sunday afternoon:)

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Back to Brown

It was unseasonably warm one was almost 50 degrees .  So all the snow melted.  Let’s all say AWWWW together.


So our second snow has come and gone.  The next snow.. the third will stay.  We are back to brown.

My Dad stopped by one day, I told him that we were going to have a frosty winter without measurable snow until February.  He said “Oh no the muskrat houses never lie and we will have lots of snow.”  I asked him if he wanted to bet 20 dollars…he didn’t.  he said “ If the muskrat house is low..there will be lots of snow.  If they are built high..not so much snow.”  We will just have to wait and see. 

We are still working on the carved Christmas ornaments.  In the next day or two or three I will have it all wrapped up!  What a pain in the butt this design has been.  As soon as I have them all packaged up and mailed out I will share all the details.

I passed up shopping Black Friday..and I passed up shopping on Small Business Saturday too..and Cyber Monday passed without me buying a thing.  I never got that shopping gene that women are supposed to have…you know the one where they get all dressed up and shop all day long and smile as they rush from one store to the next picking out the perfect gift for everyone on their list. Was I gypped or just one of the lucky ones?:)

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Monday, November 28, 2011

The Five

We have five grands and it doesn’t look like we will get anymore grandchildren.

They are growing like weeds.

The five May 2011 (2)

I took the above photo in May of 2011.

Thanksgiving Day I took another photo.  Someone who just might be the oldest has stopped growing for the moment…maybe forever.  Her sisters passed her up.  She was not happy to have slipped two spaces.

The Five November 24 2011

She asked me several times “Grandma are you sure? Are you positive that they are both taller than me?”

The Grands

Sorry “Shorty” ..Your sisters really have to slouch while standing next to you for you to be taller than them.

Just as there are no two stars in the night sky or snowflakes in the air that are exactly the same.  These five are very different from each other, they continue to amaze and entertain Far Guy and I:)

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Men at Work: Making Lefsa

Last Wednesday evening was the making of the lefsa.  Jen learned how to make lefsa from Andy.  His family makes lefsa. Lefsa is mainly potatoes and flour.  From what I understand every family has their own recipe, handed down from generation to generation.  Andy's family has honeybees so they put honey in the potato mixture…so does Andy.  ( I was not paying close enough attention to tell you exactly what the recipe was…besides that it may be a family secret.)

I will eat lefsa..even though potatoes are one of my favorite foods..lefsa is not.   IF I eat it I like it with butter and sugar.

I took some photos whilst the men worked!

Andy and Gene making lefsa

Andy is mixing and rolling..Far Guy is frying the lefsa on the lefsa griddle. You pick it up with that stick and flop in on the looks easy..but I think it might involve a wee bit of coordination.

perfect lefsa

You need special tools to make lefsa..a special board with a cover and a rolling pin..and a lefsa stick and a griddle.  The potatoes must be cooked ahead of time and riced in a potato ricer.

lefsa stacked up

After it comes off the griddle it is folded in half and then half again to cool..then these triangles are cut in half again and packaged.  There are no it must go into the freezer until it is used.  Take it from me..lefsa can grow some great looking penicillin mold in the fridge if it is kept there too long.

I think this one might be an oops.. maybe Far Guy did it on purpose..he loves lefsa!

Far Guys lefsa mistake

I asked Far Guy, “how was your lefsa experience?”  He replied “ Fun! I learned how to flip lefsa.”

My Aunt Skip used to work at a lefsa factory,  I am not sure where it was might have been in Lake Park or perhaps Hawley.  I know there is an old lefsa factory in Hitterdahl Minnesota because there is still a sign on the old building.

Lefsa is a “holiday food” that many people in Minnesota enjoy:)

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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Pie Bakery

The pie bakery will not be opening soon. It was a lot of work and I would never be able to resist tasting them all.  The pies turned out okay.  My Son In Law said “ I didn’t think you were a pie baker..but I guess you are.”

I gathered all the ingredients and the chosen recipes and I moved into Jens kitchen and baked them.

I have made a Pumpkin Pie before.  I could not find the can opener. I asked Adam “If you were a can opener where would you be in your Mom’s kitchen?” He replied, “I have no idea.”  Far Guy came to the rescue.  Jen had some new kind of fancy smancy can opener that is kid safe and grandparent safe too..because it took us a half an hour to open a can of pumpkin… and then only because Far Guy went through the motions  without realizing he had opened the can.  I have never seen the likes of that can opener before. 

This pie was tasty.  Far Guy told the Grands.. “You know kids, I never used to like pumpkin pie, but now I do.”  They decided that he had old taste none of them like pumpkin pie.

I used two different kind of apples..Granny Smith and Pink Ladies.  It was nice and tart!

Apple Pie I still don’t have that crust push pull look pretty edge technique down correctly.

Late at night, Maddie and Noah volunteered to help me create the Chocolate Caramel Pie…the kitchen was a lefsa factory for quite awhile..before it could go back to being a pie bakery.  I had everything pre it was easy.  Maddie melted the dark baking chocolate and Noah stirred.

Chocolate Caramel Pie

I am sure it had a gazillion calories:)

Friday, November 25, 2011


Tuesday I spent the day with my cousins.  It was a quilting project.  We each brought a half of a yard of fabric that was cut into 2 1/2 inch strips.

Fabric strips

It seems everyone had more than plenty of scraps.  These are Hilda’s.  We threw them all inside a paper bag and mixed them  up. Those who sewed were  supposed to blindly grab three pieces of fabric out of the bag and sew them together.   There were four cousins ( Geraldine, Diana, Evelyn and Hilda) that sewed the strips together. They are multi talented and can talk and sew all at the same time… and giggle.

strips of fabric sewn together

I pressed the seams all the same way and Kathy squared up the blocks and cut them to the correct size.  Aunt Anna did whatever needed doing..sewing..ripping out seams that were too fat..and squaring up squares.

Stacks of squares

Then they were sewed into long strips.


And finally a quilt emerged.

Almost finished  two rows left to go

This one had two more strips to be sewn on..but it was getting dark and it had been a long I came home.

Things heard at the gathering:

“How big of a quilt are we making?”   “We are just sewing all the fabric up.” “We have no idea.”  “Who knows?”

“What if we don’t have enough fabric?”  “Never fear I have more fabric stashed in the house.”  OR  “I can run home and get whatever we need.”

“What time is lunch?”  “Noonish..what time is it now?”  “12:30 ..time flies when you are having fun.”

Lunch was a feast..Roast Pork for sandwiches on homemade from scratch flat bread, two kinds of homemade soup..and enough bars to feed your sweet tooth for days.  I brought grapes and pumpkin bread.

The quilts..I think there are two in the full size and possibly a twin or a throw will be completed over the winter and they will be put away for a family in need or donated to a good cause:)

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Turkey Day!

“Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way.”  Author Unknown

I hope the pies turn out..but who really cares after a wonderful meal with family:)

connie blog headers-p0030

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wistful Wednesday: The Twins

My Uncle and Aunt are twins and they were born 60 years ago this week.  I am just two months older than them.  When they were born..there were three babies in the Mother was staying with her parents while my Dad was in Korea.  Can you imagine the cloth diapers the three of us went through?

Karen and Kenneth #1 (2)

This is my Aunt Karen and my Uncle Kenny.   Karen was very spoiled and often got me and Kenny into trouble.  She used to bawl even before we thought about doing bad stuff to her..she was a brat.  Kenny was a fun kid..and remains a very good friend..even though we don’t see him very often. He is one of my favorite people.

It was with these two that I spent almost every Thanksgiving Day from the time I could remember until I was married.  Grandma would spend the entire week preparing the feast and the house would be filled with Aunts and Uncles and babies..lots of babies over the years…and lots of dishes too.  The men would be in the dining room and spill over into the living room and all the women and children would be in the kitchen.  It would be a long day..I always wanted to be home by the time The Wizard of Oz came on TV..remember when it was telecast only on Thanksgiving evening..or sometimes Christmas Day in the evening?   It only came on once a year..there were no reruns.  Sometimes Kenny and Karen and I would all be sitting right in front of the TV in the living room watching the magic unfold..and then my parents would say “Come is time to go home.”  So I would miss 25 minutes and I would hope all the way home that the commercials were very very long.

The Wizard of Oz, stuffing with apples and raisins, dark turkey meat and pumpkin pie with real whipped cream….just a few memories of Thanksgiving so long ago:)

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My Cookbook

My Cookbook is almost 42 years old.  We got two of them as wedding gifts.  One was hard bound and one was in a five ring binder.  One of them was from one of Far Guys X girlfriends.  I was insulted. ( I think my lip may have quivered..people that know me well will run for cover at the first sign of a quiver.) After all I could make a real tasty grilled cheese sandwich complete with warmed up tomato soup out of a can and I could scramble an egg, sometimes even without burning it!

As it happened..she (the X) got married the next weekend.  We attended the fancy smancy wedding with candelabras on every pew and violin music.  I re-gifted her the hardbound Betty Crocker cookbook..and I kept the one in the five ring binder for myself.  I wonder if she still has it..I know she doesn’t have the husband. ( Ha! I still have mine!)


There are parts of this cookbook that are all worn out.  The cookie sections have notes and recipes written in the margins.

single sheets

Pathetic looking isn’t it?  Perhaps I should invest in some of those circle thingys to reinforce the holes.

Some are single sheets..well loved recipes..proof that once upon a time I made cookies for my girls.  A long time ago they were each encouraged to choose two kinds of Christmas Cookies..and they would help me bake.  Far Guy always chose the Ginger Snaps with that improved recipe written in red ink.  That other recipe in the center of the page is for a soft molasses raisin cookie that gets topped with a powdered sugar frosting..yummy.  That was my favorite!  I know it doesn’t say anything about raisins or a frosting..but believe me..that is a good cookie. IMG_7772

One confusing recipe is written on the front cover.  I know I was talking to my Grandma Drewes on the phone when I wrote it down.  It was her recipe for my favorite Russian Dill Pickles.  Hopefully I have the real recipe written down someplace else.

I have almost worn this book out and I still cannot cook. I watch all kinds of cooking shows and collect recipe books to read..not sure it has ever done a lick of good. 

The back of the well used cookbook 

42 years ago this cookbook had a front and a back cover..I still have the back cover..for old times sake.  I suppose I should look for a new index..everything beyond half of R is missing:)

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Monday, November 21, 2011

Chance: Snow Fun

Hey it’s me again..the handsome blogging Border Collie..seems like only a day or two has passed since Far Side handed over her computer.. she is busy doing “stuff” and trying to get her head above water with some of her projects before Thanksgiving.  So I get to blog.

I love the snow..betcha didn’t know that..I love it as much as Far Side hates it.

I love it when the snow moves.

Chance anxious for the snow mto move

Hurry up..hurry up..shovel faster!

Chance catching snow

Someone could shovel for me all day long if they were bored.

Fun for Far Guy and Chance

Far Guy quit as soon as the patio was all shoveled off.  Did you know that I eat snow?  I love it..but if I eat too much I start to shiver..and then Far Guy makes me come in the house to warm up.  I keep busy licking the snow clumps from in-between my toes while I warm up enough to go back outside again.  Yes, I have my very own water dish in the house..but snow..there is nothing better than cold cold is so much fun:)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Lost in email

I had to come up for air..I was being swallowed alive by emails.  They were calling my name..demanding attention and organization.  Do you remember this..where is that info?

I was born in Virgos like to be in control of everything around us and we will micro manage everything that we can..if we have enough time. 

I have three email accounts to manage..two of my own and one for the museum. Not everything can be saved nor should it be.

At the museum I often print out important emails… and I printed out a list of all of the museums email contacts!!  Yes..I am organized!

Over the summer I got a little behind in my personal one account I had over 500 emails.  I had to send out a couple of apologies..and an inquiry or two or three.  I still have 80 messages in that account..progress..but still not completely organized. 

Last June when I got a new computer I could no longer use Outlook Express so I called our Internet Provider and went to Live Mail.  Did you know that  they can take over your computer remotely and move your mouse around and click here and there and get it all set up in just a few minutes.  I did not know that anything like that was possible and I am sure I sat here at the computer with my jaw dropped very near my keyboard. Anyways I lost every email address I had..and I had not backed them up or printed them out.  Who knew?   I got caught up on that email the hard way by losing it all.  Not organized.

I make folders for important stuff and after I read something I folder it or delete it..unless I just need it for a short time before it is is that short time that gets me behind. I suppose it all depends on what your definition of a short time is..days ..weeks..months.

I do not allow the snail mail junk mail to stack up at home..I love my if I could just use that same mentality with my email.   How do you handle your email?  Do you have any helpful hints to help control email?


The snow has not melted yet:(

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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Chance: Free free at last

Hiya!  It is I, Chance the most handsome blogging Border Collie in Minnesota!

I am free, free at last.  It snowed and all the skunks S.H.O.U.L.D. be in hibernation for the winter.  There are only deer, rabbit and fox tracks out there…along with mine of course!


Getting skunked was the worst.  Far Side can’t get over it and reminds me almost daily to “Leave all the skunks alone.”  She doesn’t care if they are looking for bird seed or wandering through the yard..I am to leave them alone.  Do you know how hard it is for a Border Collie not to herd something?

I am allowed outside by myself now.  I am very good about staying in my yard.  Far Guy and I go for several walks everyday, out of the yard..together.  We keep the wood fires burning down at the shop.  Far Guy takes his phone just in case he falls and breaks a hip or something..and IF I come back by myself like I did yesterday Far Side will take me in her car to go see what the problem is.  ( There was no problem..just a bunch of guys loading up an old tractor and Far Guy was helping.) For awhile it was me and Far Side to the rescue!  I love it when she says “Chance get in the car!”

The deer are now running through my yard.  There must be a whole herd of them.  I bark at them..but I do not chase them.  Far Side calls them “Tick Carriers” and wishes that more of them would have met their demise during hunting season.

I went to see Odda last Sunday..she musta been missing me because she was real happy to see me!

Odda and the Furball

Odda has her own furball…I didn’t chase her either. We had a good visit.  Yesterday I heard that Odda was off to the Doctor for a little she cannot have puppies.  Far Side  said “No Puppies..that is sad.”  Oh well..I cannot have puppies either… and she wasn’t real heart broken when she drug me to the Vet for my “little surgery.”  So she should just get over it!

That cats name is either Sophie or Sophia Furball, Odda has two cats and it is hard to remember which one is which:)

Friday, November 18, 2011


Someone has more faith in me than they should.  I am in charge of pies for Thanksgiving.  Perhaps they just assumed I would bale out and buy some pies at the store..and that was an option I thought about..but dismissed.

I sent out an email and took votes.  Some family members responded and some did not.  I warned them in the email..if you don’t vote don’t complain.

Pumpkin Pie

I considered the votes and made the decision to make Pumpkin ( one of my favorites) and Apple.  I will try to lure in the No Pie votes that were made by two young men by making a Brownie Caramel Pie with no nuts.  I have the recipes out and the items I need entered on the grocery list..I am prepared to bake!

I am also in charge of the Pumpkin Bread..there are no fussy eaters when it comes to pumpkin bread..all of the grands like it.  I use a very old recipe that was shared by Joyce a long time ago.   I always think of her when I bake it and smile..Joyce would have liked that..she was all about food and family and good times shared.

Joyce’s Pumpkin Bread


4 Eggs

3 Cups Sugar

2/3 cup H2O

3 1/3 Cups Flour

1 Cup Oil

2 Cups Pumpkin ( Yellow sticky note says  15 oz can of Pumpkins works fine and it does.  All Pumpkin is not created equal either..I always try to use Libby’s)

1 1/2 teaspoons Salt

1 teaspoon Nutmeg

2 teaspoons Baking Soda

1 teaspoon Cinnamon ( I use about two)

Bake 350 degrees for an hour

( I put all the liquids in a large bowl..mix well and then add the flour..etc.. I usually make a number of small loaves and bake them about 30 minutes.  If you use a bread pan it will take 60 minutes to bake.  This recipe will fill two bread pans.)

I had a heck of a time hanging onto this recipe..I would have to call Nellie and say “give me your Mom’s Recipe again”..and she would.  The last time I got this recipe about 35 years ago..I wrote it in my Betty Crocker Cookbook. Since then I know exactly where to find it:)

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Second Snow

It began to snow late on Monday and it has snowed off and on since then. 


Chance looks good in snow.


I guess winter must be here..I found my snow boots and my parka.  Far Guy moved the snow shovel next to the front seems he put it away such a short time ago.

Far Guy picked a new spot for the snow stake so we can keep track of the snowfall levels.  Blog readers can be bored to death  amazed at the snow fall amounts in Minnesota once again and yes we will most likely have a snow stick contest of some sort.  Not sure what yet..but it will be something really exciting! ..maybe.

Thirty two of the sixty Christmas ornaments have been completed.  We are over half done.. whoopee!

I am never in much of a Christmas mood until after Thanksgiving..and sometimes not even then.  I am already sick of the Christmas Carols..if I hear “Have yourself a merry little Christmas” a la wally world or Justin Biebers rendition of “Little Drummer Boy” even one more time I may just skip Christmas this year…with all the hype surrounding that dude I thought he would be able to sing better than me..and I am tone deaf.  He has all three of our Granddaughters swooning.   “ OH he is so dreamy.”  “He is the best singer..and makes me have goose bumps all up and down my arms.”  Uffda..youth:)

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wistful Wednesday: 1955 Deer Hunting Continued

Last week I told you all about the deer that hung in the stairway at Far Guys childhood home for many years. It is now upstairs in our home. 

I actually found an old photo of the deer hanging high in the stairway.The Deer November 1955

Then I found photos of many members of the family with the deer.  Now this would have been totally normal in the 1950’s and beyond if you were part of a hunting family.   I was always excited when my Dad came home with a deer and we wanted to have our photographs taken with it too!

Jay Eugene and Marvin Nov 1955

Cousin Jay, Far Guy and Far Guys Dad.

Janice November 1955

Far Guys sister..I can just hear Far Guys Mother saying “Janice put your scarf on before going outside with that deer.”

Bonnie and Marvin November 1955

This sure looks like cousin Bonnie to me..high-water pants and all. Look at that.. no snow boots either…no wonder she likes to escape to Florida in the winter. 

It was fun for me to find all these old photos in an old hunting and fishing photo album that belonged to Far Guys Dad.  I am in the process of scanning them…just one of my many projects:)

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Brown and Pins

I like the color brown..earthy..most of the interior of our home is decorated in warm shades of brown.

I have a hard time with the outside browns. Blah brown mixed with shades of grey. How wonderful…

Brown yard with a Chickadee flag

This is our yard to the east looking north.  I put up a chickadee flag to brighten things up.  Yes, that is a clothes pin holding the flag in place.  When the wind blows it will blow that flag right off of the holder and I will have to walk around in the woods looking for it..I still have a flag lost out there someplace. Since that loss.. the clothes pin does a good job.

Now this is a highly scientific many of you have heard the term “Pin Money?”

Far Guy insists that he had never heard that term before.  We were conversing..I said “OH so and so thought that she was working for pin money when in fact she was working to buy groceries and pay rent.”  Far Guy said “What is pin money?”  I replied “A woman’s money that she can use to buy pins or whatever else she desires.”   Hat pins, stick pins, clothes pins..fabric..rugs ( my Aunt Toots took a job once because she wanted new throw rugs in her kitchen). 

Far Guy said “ us guys have fun women have pin money?”  Yes dear.

I suppose he has never heard of “Egg Money” Mom had egg money..from the sale of eggs..but egg money was usually used to buy groceries not pins:)

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